Loosely translated in English, it means “artisan” or “craftsman”. But upon watching a documentary on a real-life shokunin, I think those English words hardly give it justice.
It resonated with me because I’m at this stage where the hunger to improve as a writer is so strong. The shokunin spirit seems to be deeply rooted in all the right things that compel people to keep improving.
I’m currently working on a piece that fleshes out this inspiring concept. In the meantime, here’s an excerpt from Disney CEO Bob Iger’s book, the Ride of a Lifetime. He describes shokunin, or in his words, the relentless pursuit of perfection:
This is what it looks like to take immense personal pride in the work you have to create, and to have both the instinct toward perfection and the work ethic to follow through on that instinct.